“Today, every employer is looking for one skill in a person and that is learning agility. Life is now a continuous learning process. One must have the mindset to continue learning and upgrading. FutureSkills Prime platform provides everyone with an opportunity to upgrade their digital skills by building digital fluency. On FutureSkills when a person completes a course, they will also earn a badge, which can be showcased on LinkedIn”, says Ms Kirti Seth, Co-Architect and Head, FutureSkills Prime at NASSCOM.
Technology is disrupting the entire world and the recent pandemic has accelerated its use in every walk of life. It has become crucial for each one of us to have basic knowledge about these technologies. FutureSkill Prime, a joint initiative from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and NASSCOM, specially designed to educate and skill people about future skills and digital skills. It is an ecosystem for digital skills.
Here is the link to access FutureSkills Prime platform- https://futureskillsprime.in/ It can also be downloaded as a mobile app.
To know more about the platform and how it connects Digital India with Skill India, Team NSN connected with Ms Kirti Seth, Co-Architect and Head, FutureSkills Prime at NASSCOM. Let’s read on to know more and watch the complete conversation in the video here:
Q. Please tell us more about FutureSkills Prime and other important aspects of skilling in the digital space?
A: FutureSkills Prime platform is the first-of-its-kind public-private partnership and a joint initiative by the MeitY and NASSCOM. It is our contribution to the country to increase the digital fluency of each and every one of us. Through the platform, we are looking at a trillion dollars in digital opportunity for India which is 25% of the total GDP of India.
During the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, digital technologies really helped us to survive and thrive in these difficult times. The pandemic has taught each and every individual that technology is no longer about IT and it is everywhere. Technology is not for tech-savvy persons anymore, it is for every one of us.
Today, technology is all pervasive and if we are not getting digitally skilled and digitally fluent, we will miss out on what’s happening in the world. This is the reason for the existence of FutureSkills Prime.
Q. As the enterprises are turning digital, how do you think we can be demand-driven in terms of skills? What would be the latest skills that young people should acquire?
A: Actually, we need to be supply-driven. Because the demand is already there. As per the reports by NASSCOM, today, the digital skill gap among people is 8x and in 5 years it is going to be 20x. People might think that automation is taking over the jobs, however, the jobs are not going away; the jobs are changing and evolving. They are becoming exciting!
Technology is not just for technical people, but it is for everybody. One can write a program without knowing how to code. We can approach it at different levels, one we can approach it at the digital fluency level. Digital fluency is building awareness of what is happening to the world with the influence of technology.
It is important for people to have digital awareness and have basic knowledge about the technologies that we are using on a day-to-day basis. The creation of awareness is a big focus area, even for the government, when we gave a proposal on how to design Future Skills Prime and we gave them this idea of digital fluency and they loved it. Digital fluency is needed at a high level as in at the leadership level and also for the non-tech or non-STEM people.
Everything is about the content today and the way we consume the content is important. If we don’t understand how these platforms work, if we don’t understand the web, we don’t understand the cloud, you will be contributing at a sub-optimal level. So, building awareness is crucial which is the prime focus on FutureSkills Prime. It helps in building the basic foundation for digital skills then we go deeper into various courses.
Q. Plenty of non-STEM students are job seekers, how does the platform help the non-STEM students cope with, or acquire the knowledge of new-age technologies which will give them an entry to this sector?
A: We want to encourage the non-STEM students to build their digital fluency through our platform and it is a challenge because most non-STEM students don’t think that they need to learn about the technology. However, learning future skills is the need of the hour. The FutureSkills platform is free to access and anyone can log into the platform. And, it is not just about technical skills, you also need to have other skills like teamwork, collaboration, empathy, project management and leadership to perform effectively in this world.
The non-STEM students can access 30 to 40 minutes modules and specially curated learning pathways where we have put together short videos in a logical sequence. After finishing the shorter pathways, depending on their interest students can go to more pathways and learn more. All the pathways are structured differently.
Q. Do the students get to do coding and use some interfaces to do the coding?
A: It depends on what courses they are doing. There are a lot of free tools like GitHub and Topcoder where students can practice coding. On Topcoder, students who have knowledge and interest of coding can bid for projects and can get paid for working on those projects. For non-STEM students, they should first build their awareness before jumping into coding. but if you already have the knowledge then you can go and check it out.
Q. What is your vision for providing short term courses on Cybersecurity, 3D printing, IoT for the government’s PMVKY kind of schemes?
A: PMKVY talks of skill development in so many sectors, we need to determine the level at which they need to know a certain technology. A bulk of them will be at the digital fluency level and FutureSkills Prime is the best platform for PMKVY students to build their digital fluency. So, every Sector Skill Council (SSC) can leverage our platform to train their students on future skills. In fact, many are using our platform to train their employees in courses like AI, Cybersecurity and others.
Also read: FutureSkills Prime: A digital learning platform by MeitY and NASSCOM https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/futureskills-prime-a-digital-learning-platform-by-meity-and-nasscom/
Q. How would you describe the current status of the platform and the future roadmap?
A: The platform is doing well, we are rolling out in phases. The current phase is free for everyone. We’ve seen good response from colleges and we also see huge enthusiasm from the industry to participate because they perceive this program as of national prestige. Companies like Cisco and Amazon AWS are contributing immensely. State government are also participating and pushing the content to the people from their states. We have touched 200,000 and have at least 40,000 people who have actually enrolled in the courses after completing the digital fluency part on the platform.
In future, we wish to see an increase in the women participating in the platform. We want to encourage women and girls to take up the courses. If they are looking for flexibility, they can build a very nice career with these technologies and they can start building their basic foundation from our platform.